The Dharamsala hoteliers who are in visible duress due to the High Court decision decreeing illegal hotels to be sealed, are now pinning their hope on the new government. The Tribune recently reported that a delegation of hotel association met Minister for Town and Country Planning Sarween Chaudhary and Chief Jai Ram Thakur and submitted a memorandum of their demands.
Dharamsala, especially the widely-visited Mcleodganj, has turned into a Mecca for tourists local and international. Hotels have sprung up instantaneously within a decade, presenting the problem of illegal construction and construction in places which have been deemed sensitive. The previous government had taken note and threatened to shut more than 50 hotels which it said have all illegally constructed buildings in Dharamsala.
The hoteliers have demanded that the compounding of deviations in buildings should be increased from the present limit of 10% to 40%. The policy brought by the previous government has now been struck down by the high court. The hoteliers, who had raised illegal constructions, now have been left in the lurch. The hoteliers are now demanding that deviations up to 40 per cent should be regularised on the plea that if it was done, more than 90 per cent hotels would be saved from penal action,” The Tribune said.
The hoteliers have also demanded that there should be more parking spaces; the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) for hotels to be increased, and the increase in the height of a building from 21 metres to 25 metres.
The Himachal Pradesh government had previously introduced the Smart City scheme with the objective of turning Dharamsala into a smart city. The hoteliers have also demanded that they should also be in on the loop about the government’s latest changes to the scheme.